I don’t believe in writer’s block. I’ve written about that dozens of times, including this post about Fran Lebowitz’s decades-long block. But when I came across that post the other day, I had a new appreciation for what Lebowitz has gone through. Writer’s block may not be real, but I’ve been locked in mortal combat with its evil twin for a couple of weeks now. Marketing Block. It’s a bitch.
Interviewed in 1993 for The Paris Review, Lebowitz talked about the pain of not writing:
“Not writing is probably the most exhausting profession I’ve ever encountered. It takes it out of you. It’s very psychically wearing not to write—I mean if you’re supposed to be writing.”
Replace “writing” with “marketing” and you have a snapshot of my life the past month. “Exhausting,” “psychically wearing”—Fran, I see those adjectives and I’ll raise you “painful.”
Of course, if writer’s block isn’t real…
I’ve been suffering for a month from something that doesn’t exist?
Marketing Block and the F-Word
In my blog post last spring, I wrote:
If you invent an external reason for your inaction, you don’t have to face the (probable) internal reason—a reason Lebowitz identifies as fear.
At this point, I gotta tell you, “fear” isn’t the only F-word floating around in my head. Perhaps I’ve been too smug about people who fear writing so much they pathologize not doing it. They may be inventing the condition, but they’re not inventing the pain they experience from it. Neither am I.
Okay, time to pick myself up and deploy some well-placed F-words in the direction of my fear. Maybe if I tell Marketing Block I’ve decided it’s not real, it will get the hell out of town.